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Inside the Studio : Week Three Layers of Skin

Where do I start with such an eventful week that led up to our Easter break. This week our determination was put to the test, with more challenging work being created by Filip and more complexity needed to be created by us, the dancers.

We kicked off this week’s rehearsals with a new phrase taught by Filip, which was to illustrate a body without organs (or Filip’s title B.W.O.) which is personally my favourite section so far. This is conveyed by falling to the ground, leaping back up, twisting, sliding and flipping across the dance floor, then our skin meets other skins and our tangle causes a reaction. One of the movements in this phrase is called the ‘Flying Squirrel’, (named after seeing David imitating one in a picture!) which is literally to fly face down to the floor with arms and legs spread to the side. We had different versions coming out of the Flying Squirrel. My technique was to fall on the front of the right foot, then fold into the right knee. Luisa our fabulous apprentice found another technique that worked really well. But with her burst of great energy and enthusiasm in the demonstration of her version, she jumped really high, so high in fact, that on the way down she hit her face and cracked her tooth. Yes sounds crazy, but Luisa the fighter showed that her passion conquers all, and got it fixed that night. She was ready to go again the next day as she was marvellously covering Erin’s role for a few days.

A very rigorous quartet was created by Pauline, Matt, David and myself. Then Filip tore our creation apart and made it more daring, by the use of contact and lifts and by adding intention. Risks were taken resulting in David the brave’s head hitting the ground whilst being between my legs, and Matt falling to the ground out of Pauline arms. But no harm done, the bruises remind us to NEVER do that again.

Layers of Skin week 3 from Retina Dance Company on Vimeo.

A new section was created with the idea to incorporate the 6 additional professional dancers along with the community dancers. We had another counting challenge like last week’s 5’s, this time it’s in 9’s or 6’s or 3’s, or Joris Vanvinkenroye (our composer) says the music is in 18’s!

At the end of this first 3 week rehearsal period we all have 2 weeks off for an Easter break, to rest up and to let the choreography settle in our bodies. Phew!

Friendships have definitely bonded. My favourite moment was doing Filip’s great class to Beyonce’s ‘all the single ladies’ and boogying it out with Filip, the company and class guests.

I am looking forward to coming back and focusing on the next period of rehearsals leading up to our premiere in Berchem cultural centre, it is going to be amazing!!!!

Written by Kristina Alleyne, Retina Dance Company

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